Rotaractor can't get enough of RI conventions
Clemens Witt, a Rotaractor from Germany and a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar to Australia, attended his seventh RI convention in New Orleans. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska-Lee
Editor's note: Clemens Witt is a Rotaractor from Germany and a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar to Australia.
I’m absolutely addicted to traveling to RI conventions.
The 2011 convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in May was my seventh. Sometimes people ask me if attending so many conventions has been boring. My answer is always the same: "Never. The more you attend, the more friends you meet!"
No matter where you come from, your path to the convention is always full of surprises. You meet members of the family of Rotary on the plane, in the airports, on the shuttle buses, everywhere. And once you get to the venue, the fun is just beginning. The days are amazing, packed with inspiring speakers and opportunities to make friends.
As a Rotaractor, I extend the experience through the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting. It gives Rotaractors a chance to have fun and share ideas before they submerge themselves in the convention, along with thousands of Rotarians from around the world.
We use the preconvention meeting to discuss Rotaract-specific topics and attend workshops that train us to improve and promote Rotaract locally and globally. This year, for the first time, we held a Rotaract Council. Attendees were given a chance to vote on proposals that were forwarded to the RI Board of Directors for review. I appreciated this opportunity, as it demonstrated that the directors value our opinions.
I asked several Rotaractors about their impressions of the convention and their thoughts about our organization. Maud Poussière, of the Rotaract Club of Cosne-Sancerre, Nièvre, France, said, "It's a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world, to discover a lot of Rotaract service projects, and to go back home fully empowered."
Axel Klein, of the Rotaract Club of Schwarzwald-Baar, Germany, said, "As well as getting inspired by international service projects, you get to know and meet friends within the family of Rotary and see what Rotary is all about. It's a powerful network of people providing service around the globe."
I couldn't have said it better. Why attend an RI Convention? It's like no other Rotary event. The convention gives us inspiration, empowers us to continue the work in our clubs and districts, and gives us a true snapshot of the internationality of Rotary.
See old friends and make new ones. Register now for the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand.